Hand­writ­ing, sym­bols found at em­peror’s tomb

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By BINAN binan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Hand­writ­ing and sym­bols were re­cently dis­cov­ered at the tomb of Em­peror Liu He from the Western Han Dy­nasty (206 BC-AD 24), as ar­chae­ol­o­gists be­gan dis­man­tling the outer cof­fin, ac­cord­ing to Nan­chang Evening News.

Liu He (92-59 BC), who was later given the ti­tle Hai­hun­hou (the Mar­quis of Hai­hun), was the grand­son of Em­peror Wu, the great­est ruler of the Han Dy­nasty (206 BC-AD 220), a pros­per­ous pe­riod in Chi­nese his­tory.

Ar­chae­ol­o­gists be­gan to dis­man­tle the main cof­fin cham­ber of Liu He’s tomb in Septem­ber, with the third level of the tomb cur­rently un­der ex­trac­tion. Crosstie and char­coal is still to be ex­tracted, which might re­veal re­mains of sac­ri­fices or other relics.

Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­pert Yang Jun said that they found hand­writ­ing and sym­bols on the cof­fin, adding that their mean­ings are still un­known, but that they ap­pear to of­fer in­for­ma­tion about the cof­fin, such as its size and ori­gin. Yang said that the dis­man­tling work will last for two months. Ar­chae­ol­o­gists will num­ber each piece of wood re­moved from the cof­fin, which will be recorded, pho­tographed and scanned be­fore be­ing dis­man­tled.

Af­ter that, ex­perts will ex­ca­vate or dis­sect the bot­tom of the tomb for two months. The dis­man­tled wood will be de­hy­drated, un­dergo in­sect and pol­lu­tion proof­ing, and be re­stored to its orig­i­nal po­si­tion af­ter ex­ca­va­tion work is com­plete.

When ar­chae­o­log­i­cal work on Liu He’s tomb comes to an end, ex­ca­va­tion of the No 2 tomb, which be­longs to Liu He’s wife, will be­gin, pend­ing the ap­proval of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage.

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